ITTC Project

CAREER/EPSCoR: Cooperative Agents for Conceptual Search and Browsing of World Wide Web Resources

Project Award Date: 01-01-2001


Initially, information on the World Wide Web was found by random browsing, a time-consuming and ineffective method. Now, all-encompassing, on-line search engines make finding information much easier. It is not unusual to find 4,000 items or more that match a given query. What is needed is not just a search engine that produces better results, but rather an organization of the search results based on the concepts contained on the various Web pages. The search process must also become more diverse, removing the incredible demand placed on the handful of popular search sites. In addition, searching is not the only desirable way to access information. Users should be able to browse through the Web in an organized manner. Several search engines provide subject hierarchies that can be browsed, but the associated Web pages are manually placed in the categories, which limits the amount of information available. In addition, each time the user visits a new mode in the ontology, a page must be sent from the centralized server, making browsing a tedious activity. Finally, both searching and browsing allow users to view only a tiny portion of the World Wide Web. They are effective means of getting detailed, partial pictures but do not provide an overview of the Web as a whole from a conceptual level. What kind of information is available? How is the information available on the Web changing?

The goals of this project are fourfold:

    (1) To investigate the effectiveness and efficiency tradeoffs of using different topologies for co-operating distributed searching agents for the Web;

    (2) To evaluate the effectiveness of ontology-based Web browsing agents;

    (3) To study the feasibility of visualization agents as a mechanism to provide a holistic overview of the conceptual organization of information on the Web in general and with respect to an individual users interests in particular; and

    (4) To keep a record of changes to the ontology to study how information changes on the Web.


Faculty Investigator(s): Susan Gauch (PI)

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): National Science Foundation

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

ITTC Calendar
There are no upcoming events at this time.